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PR(03)22: Reasoned opinion sent to Norway for failing to notify a draft technical regulation on gaming machines

23.7.2003

The EFTA Surveillance Authority delivered today a reasoned opinion to Norway due to that country’s failure to comply with the procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations, as laid down by Directive 98/34/EC (DTR procedure).

Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations, as adapted for the purpose of the EEA Agreement, imposes an obligation upon the EFTA States to notify all draft technical regulations concerning products, as well as draft provisions relating to Information Society Services, to the EFTA Surveillance Authority before they are adopted in national law.

The procedure provides transparency and control with regard to the adoption of such regulations. A three months' standstill period is triggered upon notification, during which the Authority and the other EFTA States, as well as the European Commission, may comment on the notified draft regulation. The aim is to avoid that the Contracting Parties introduce new, unjustified barriers to trade.

Under Norwegian legislation, commercial operation of gaming machines requires the machines to be type approved by Lotteritilsynet.   The requirements that must be met in order to obtain such type approval are set out in detail in Regulation of 28 August 1998 no. 853 regarding type approval of gaming machines. In the Authority’s view, these requirements clearly constitute “technical specifications” within the meaning of the Directive, as they lay down the required characteristics of gaming machines. The Regulation was, however, not notified to the Authority prior to adoption.

On 4 April 2003, the Authority sent a letter of formal notice to Norway for failing to notify the Regulation under the DTR procedure.   To date, no observations or comments on the letter of formal notice have been received from the Norwegian Government. The Authority has therefore decided to deliver a reasoned opinion to Norway.

The purpose of a reasoned opinion is to give the State in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court. Norway has been given three months to take the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinion.

For further information please contact Mr. Erik A. Mathisen, telephone (+32)(0)2 286 18 78.

23 July 2003




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